By Jessica Mathews /

The City of Howell has launched a creative campaign designed to encourage people to keep sidewalks clear of snow and neighbors safe while promoting a walkable community.

The City has been stepping up enforcement of an ordinance that requires all sidewalks to be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snow event. If a property owner fails to comply, then the City does the job and charges for it. After the last big snow event, the City sent out invoices to three property owners.

Recognizing there can be extenuating circumstances, the City has launched a new community-wide movement called “The Shovel Shuffle”, which offers tips and reminders for snow removal. It also encourages people to become a “Howell Snow Hero” and volunteer to help out a neighbor or somebody in need.

At a recent meeting, City Manager Erv Suida reported that staff has been working toward a way to better communicate about snow removal and be a little bit friendlier. He credited the City’s Communications Specialist Danica Katnik for coming up with the creative campaign; saying it really promotes community and walkability. Suida said it can’t always just be about enforcement – it has to be about encouragement too so the City is going to do both while encouraging neighbors to be neighborly and help each other out.

Suida noted there’s also dedicated Facebook page where people can connect and look for services or offer up services - such as if someone is going to be out of town and needs someone to look after their sidewalks or might be elderly or sick. People are encouraged to share their stories on social media using the hashtag #shovelshuffle. The campaign is detailed on the City website in multiple places – under the hot topic button and also in resources and news alerts.

A link is provided and more information is attached.